What you cook your food in is as important as the food itself.
Non-stick and aluminum cookware are known to leach, which introduces metals and other toxins into your food.
There are much safer choices: stainless steel, glass, high-quality ceramics, cast iron, and enameled cast iron.
Perhaps the optimal option of these is enameled cast iron, for a variety of reasons:
- Easy to clean
- Non-toxic (doesn’t leach)
- Even heat distribution
- No rusting
- No need to season the pot after each use
- Acidic foods (like tomatoes) are not a problem
According to the non-profit Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education organization, metal poisoning is much more prevalent than we realize and cheap cookware is a large contributor. There are ways to avoid environmental exposure and using “glass, cast iron, carbon steel, titanium and lead-free crock pots (slow cookers) and enamels are best” for cooking.
Metal toxicity is a cumulative process. We are exposed to metals in our food, air, water, and personal care products. Over time, it can cause headaches, fatigue, vision problems, mood swings and anxiety, disruption of the nervous system, chronic pain, gastrointestinal problems, and others. Heat in combination with metals and chemicals can create unwelcome and unhealthy reactions. The best way to avoid it is to…avoid it.
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When it comes to something as basic as the pots and pans in which you cook your food, selecting good-quality cookware is worth some thought. Because enamaled cast iron is so durable, it is pricey: a Dutch oven goes for around $100. On the other side, the cookware produced these days is decorative as well as functional; you can hand down your enameled cast iron to your children and grandchildren—not something you would do with stainless steel or glass. Admittedly an investment, you can buy one piece at a time to gradually replace your daily cookware.
If you can’t afford the high price of enameled cast iron, at least ditch the aluminum and non-stick pans for stainless steel. You can find tons of these at thrift stores for a fraction of the new cost (it’s also a great resource for replacing broken lids) and, because stainless steel is non-porous, a good scrubbing in hot water will make it as clean as new.
Heavy metal belongs on your MP3 player, not in your bloodstream.